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A working kitchen is something to behold, is it not? The days start early with coffee and breakfast-making and the nights end when everyone else is tucked in. In between is a blur of meals and loaves and dishes and counter tops that never seem to empty. It really is the hub of a homestead in many ways.IMG_9218

With the temperatures slowly declining – 90 still counts as a crisp fall day around here – the kitchen activity has picked back up. Little Annabelle declares that carrots are best “when they are ‘mented, mama” so I threw together a half-gallon of dill and garlic fermented carrots when I was chopping for supper anyway.

I am convinced that simple is usually the most sustainable solution on many fronts.

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For the first time our homestead kitchen is seeing a bounty and every few days I pile the milk jars onto the table and decide what’s next. I’ve done a few simple cheeses but mostly we keep coming back to yogurt, usually by the gallon full.

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My brood of helpers is ever expanding and while I know it would go faster (and cleaner) with just me manning the kitchen sink, I can’t say no to this eager little doer. Annie has been asking to wash dishes and help in so many other ways. She’ll be four in February and I can already see those dirt pies turning into real pies very soon. Can there be too many pie-makers… or too much pie for that matter?

IMG_9276 IMG_9282I’m going to be real honest and say that nourishing my family during the summer months is something I often fail at. The ferments don’t work so well and no one wants a pot of simmering broth and if anyone even wants to eat in that heat it’s usually not a nourishing bowl of soup or a bunch of greens.

Broth is back, though, and finding its way into mugs for the girls who would rather slurp its goodness than down the rest of the ingredients. And what goes better with soup than a hearty loaf of bread? That loaf above is another simple solution to this working kitchen of ours – an all-day loaf, fermented or not, with minimal hands-on time. It’s just the type of bread we eat on a regular basis and a recipe I’ll be sharing here soon… maybe after I reclaim a few feet of those counter tops.